Unofficial Start to Election Season Underway

PALM PSRINGS — Whether you’re ready or not, the unofficial start to election season is upon us. In many respects it arrived long ago with announcements, challengers to incumbents emerging, fundraisers and more.

One sure way to tell election season has arrived is when the backbiting, backstabbing, and undercutting begin.  Well, it’s here — at least for Palm Springs City Councilmember Christy Holstege who is looking to unseat Republican Assemblymember Greg Wallis in the 47th Assembly District.

As you may recall, Wallis and Holstege ran for the seat in 2022. On election night and for days afterward the two traded places taking the lead. More than a month after the election, Holstege conceded the race, opting not to seek a recount after finishing 85 votes behind in a historically close contest.

Now, she is ready for a rematch.

The campaign of Christy Holstege, Democratic candidate for California’s 47th Assembly District, has raised $322,637 during the first half of 2023, the most of any candidate running for the hotly-contested Palm Springs seat, according to campaign finance reports.

Her critics are ready to pounce. They ridicule her misspellings in Instagram posts and claim she “has a problem” with Palm Springs voters that money can’t — and won’t — overcome.

They point to data from the Riverside County Registrar of voters from the 2022 election that show a snapshot of Palm Springs voters. There were 29,110 registered voters. Some 20,351 turned out to vote for 69.91. The data, which you can see here, shows Holstege underperforming when compared to other races.

It’s nothing new. She and her team have been aware of it for nearly a year — and are armed with their own data.

“We are concentrating on the everyday issues that make a difference in the lives of AD47 constituents: affordability, increased investment in infrastructure, and environmental and social equity,” Amelia Matier, spokesperson for Christy Holstege for Assembly, told Uken Report. “Christy won two other elections by knocking on doors, talking to, and– more importantly– listening to the voters. We will be mounting an aggressive voter contact campaign in partnership with the state and national Democratic party to ensure every voter turns out in 2024.

Christy Holstege’s State Assembly race was the most competitive assembly race in the 2022 cycle – coming down to just 85 votes – making it the one of closest California assembly elections in history, Matier said.

“Turnout in the off-year race was 56.4%, which helped Greg Wallis inch out a win. In 2024, turnout will be significantly higher and is projected to grow to 82%-85% due to presidential election enthusiasm,” she said. “The Democratic registration advantage in the District, currently at 6.5%, is projected to further increase to around 10% in November 2024. This growth underscores the significant benefit that heightened turnout will bring to Christy’s campaign.”


Palm Springs City Councilmember Christy Holstege

In 2022, Christy outperformed every other Democratic legislative candidate running in a competitive Democrat vs Republican election when looking at each district’s Biden/Trump margin (see related link),

“While Newsom did outperform Christy in the 2022 race by a few thousand votes, Greg Wallis received almost the exact same number of votes as Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Dahle – indicating the room for growth on Christy’s totals and the ceiling on Wallis’s support,” Matier said. “The differential between Christy’s and Newsom’s numbers can be attributed to ballot placement and lower overall Democratic turnout on an off year. Wallis’s numbers from 2022 represent a best-case scenario for him that is highly unlikely to be repeated.”

Critics also take issue with Holstege traveling to Sacramento to prepare for the legislative session. Holstege made no secret of that. In her usual style, posted a photo of her and a weary-eyed toddler on an early-morning flight to the state capital.

“Christy attended the new member orientation because she was invited by Assembly Democrats to participate. At the time of the event, the Secretary of State had not finalized the results of the election due to delays in the San Berardino vote count, but Christy was ahead at the time so legislative leaders insisted she participate.

A pollster claims Holstege tried to overturn the 2022 election.

“This is absolutely false and On December 7, 2022, Christy posted an update on vote tallies stating that with the difference in votes being less than 1%, her campaign was weighing the viability of a recount, but that she would accept the results regardless and would remain committed to serving the region and community. On Dec. 12, 2022, Christy posted and sent out a campaign update expressing gratitude and indicating that she had called Greg Wallis to concede.”

It should be noted, Matier said, that Greg Wallis never acknowledged Biden’s win in 2020 on social media “and while he commented on the Jan. 6th insurrection, he has never condemned it,”

And so, it begins.



Image Sources

  • Christy Holstege: Christy Holstege
  • 2024 Vote: Shutterstock